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Ex-Tour racers to face doping charges

Three Tour de France racers may be charged criminally for doping offenses at the 2007 Tour de France according to the Sud Ouest newspaper. Last summer, Former Astana racer Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion, Iban Mayo for erythropoietin (EPO) and Italian Cristian Moreni for testosterone.

Mayo has been cleared by the Spanish Cycling federation while Moreni was banned from competition for two years although the French government may charge all three riders.

AFP indicated that the police charges against Vinokourov arose from "the discovery of banned substances, believed to have belonged to the riders" when the Tour de France visited Pau last July although city prosecutor Erick Maurel did "neither confirm nor deny" the alleged charges.

Bags of blood relating to Vinokourov were allegedly found in a police raid of a hotel where Vino stayed according to Sud Ouest. He will be charged with "illegal use of banned substances or methods in a competition". Mayo and Moreni will likely be charged with "acquiring and possession of doping substances".

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.